We’re not the only ones who think that shoes should take the higher ground, physically or otherwise. Helen Furber, a recent graduate of the London College of Fashion, has created the gravity-defying Icica, a wedge heel that not only keeps you on your tippy toes but also challenges outmoded concepts of luxury footwear. For Furber, however, “sustainable” doesn’t just mean swapping out traditional materials for eco-friendlier ones. Creating a better shoe means reconsidering the product’s entire manufacturing process, including end-of-life disposal.

Helen Furber, sustainable shoes, eco-friendly shoes, vegetable-tanned leather, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style

A LEG UP

True to their fusty reputations, luxury labels are still clinging onto techniques that haven’t altered much over the past 50 to 100 years, Furber tells Ecouterre. In contrast, performance footwear is an early adopter of new technologies, a tactic that has allowed the industry to evolve at a pace that far outstrips its relative callowness. “I felt that there was an opportunity to create a sustainable luxury product that wouldn’t be possible with traditional manufacturing techniques,” she says.

The Icica marries the elegant curves of a luxury wedge with the modular construction of a technical sneaker.

Clad in vegetable-tanned, certified-organic leather from Natureally, the Icica marries the elegant curves of a luxury wedge with the modular construction of a technical sneaker. Its constituent parts, down to the bioresin heel, can be disassembled post-consumption for recycling. “My ethos is that sustainability and design aesthetic are both equally important, and good design should be about how they can complement each other,” Furber adds.

+ Helen Furber

[Via OutsaPop]